– An evocative recounting of his experience at The Naropa Fellowship by our Program & Media Head, Devansh Rathour.
As I sit down to write this, I can recall everything from the acicular tips of the Himalayas I could see from my flight to the barren land between the snow-clad mountains.
The wind gushed through my face once I landed and stepped out of the plane, and reminded me how lucky I was to be witnessing this scenic beauty.
“Travelling and meeting people from different places and listening to their stories has always intrigued me.”
When I was told we were travelling to Leh, Ladakh for ‘The Naropa Fellowship’, for which Ingenious Faces has designed the entrepreneurship curriculum – I was on cloud nine.
Getting to experience the sheer serenity of Leh while being part of such a prestigious program was an absolute dream come true. I decided to carry a diary with me and on the first page, I wrote a heading – “My time in Leh”.
The first batch of The Naropa Fellowship aims to create a league of Himalayan entrepreneurs to usher in an ecosystem of growth and change.
The current batch consists of sixty fellows and I was able to learn (at least) sixty new things from them. My interactions with them were enlightening, to say the least. Each of them has a unique story to tell, a problem they want to solve, and the vehemence of an entrepreneur ready to disrupt and thrive.
I truly felt like I was part of something much bigger and something which is going to impact the Himalayan region for generations to come.
Life at Hemis, Leh gave me perspective on the challenges the region faces. One of the fellows told me how the Leh they knew had adversely changed, with the culture and traditions withering away. Moreover, the lack of quality and quantity of job opportunities had resulted in people migrating to the Southern parts of India.
I spent my 4 days there with deeply passionate people whose enthusiasm was infectious enough to motivate anyone within their reach.
I very vividly remember my conversation with Kunga Bodh, a native of Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh. He left his well-paying job in Gurgaon to travel back home and teach once he realised that there were no quality teachers imparting learning skills that the students needed & deserved.
“I felt bad that the students of our region are not at all taught about the most basic thing – learning. I want to create programs for students where they enjoy learning and understand its importance. Most students despise mathematics just because they were never taught to see it as an interesting subject. I love mathematics and I don’t want my students to be afraid of it, rather they should enjoy and love it.” – Kunga Bodh, Naropa Fellow 2018-19
This was among many other inspiring stories that I heard over the course of my stay and they made me feel grateful for being associated with such a group of changemakers who I’m confident will be the leaders of our future.
“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”
I can proudly say that I found my group of people at The Naropa Fellowship and working with Ingenious Faces is my contribution towards helping them find their entrepreneurial ‘kiddaa’ (‘insect’ in Hindi).
And after this life-altering experience of mine at Naropa, I can say it with great ease and pride that Ingenious Faces will continue to act as a launchpad for people with ideas, dreams, and a vision to believe in possibilities!